Cryptocurrencies are being applied to a wide range of fields, from games to elections, to carbon credit management. What is left? One Swiss company has developed a cryptocurrency wallet to tap into the burgeoning economic power of the world’s 2.2 billion children.
Regular allowances are a traditional way for parents to teach their children about financial responsibility, and startups have been offering the option to do this digitally for a few years now. Examples include Osper, a pre-paid debit card which was has a minimum age of eight, goHenry, a card with a minimum age of six and a household chore/reward system, and RoosterMoney, a money tracking application with a minimum age of four. These products have attracted millions of dollars and have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, according to the Telegraph.
However, these exist within the confines of the traditional banking system. And according to Swiss startup Pigzbe, children face the same problems with their banking services as adults do – high fees, slow execution, and services that are geographically limited.
Pigzbe aims to use blockchain technology to overcome these issues. According to the whitepaper, regular allowances for children have proved to have a positive impact on their personal development, and game-based education is estimated to be a $23 billion market by 2021. Its target market, according to its website, is the 205 million children that receive $15 pocket money a week.
According to the introductory video on its website, Pigzbe is “a combination of a physical product, a game, and a wallet.” It works via a device which functions as a game controller that also receives notifications. Later it can become a secure cold wallet.
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Children collect its cryptocurrency, Wollo, by playing finance-based games, and potentially will be able to use it to pay for things using the payment card which the company is currently developing. As the value of the currency will inevitably fluctuate, as do all cryptocurrencies, children will learn one of life’s tough lessons early on.
CEO Filippo Yacob told Quartz: “Volatility itself is a reality. That’s a valuable conversation to have.”
The blockchain is built on Stellar and is powered by a coin called Wollo, which has a fixed supply. It is traded on the Stellar Distributed Exchange, so transfers are settled in 3-5 seconds and cost 1/100,000 of a Stellar Lumen token.
Stellar is an open-source blockchain network created by Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Ripple. Stellar is similar to Ripple in that it uses blockchain technology to facilitate quick, cheap cross-border payments, but it differs because it is a non-profit organisation that promotes financial access and inclusion whereas Ripple is a for-profit entity that works with financial institutions.
According to the press release, the company has raised $6 million in its presale and is launching its ICO on the 4th of July.